We brought Maya home when she was 8 weeks old, in February, 2007. She had a fairly normal puppyhood. We did lots of training. She was well socialized; got along well with other dogs. She loved to learn new things (and still does).
Then came the point where signs of her EPI became more evident. She became uncomfortable with other dogs. She was coprophagic. She had occasional bouts of diarrhea . She was put on a high-fiber diet, which helped for a while. She was thin, but young GSDs are always thin. Then she got so thin that we started calling her “bones”. She could eat and eat and not gain weight. I still wasn’t really worried, naively. She didn’t look that different. Still happy, still energetic, still more or less normal stools.
At the end of October, 2010, from her normal weight of about 65 lbs at the time, she went down to 52 lbs within a couple of weeks. That’s when our vet suggested and ran the TLI test (and also cobalamin/folate). Her TLI was 1.2.
Within a few weeks of starting on pancreatic enzymes and with the support of and information on of the Epi4Dogs Foundation’s website and forum, Maya regained the weight she had lost. Once we started her on the TAMU B12 protocol combined with 6 weeks on Tylan, she really started to thrive. I continue to supplement her B12, since it can’t hurt.
She’s now 75 pounds and she’s looking and acting great. She’s always ready for whatever’s next, especially playing with her ball or Frisbee. Maya is a stereotypical Shepherd. Loyal, loving, smart and intense with loads of energy.
In a way, we were lucky. Maya was diagnosed quickly and responded well to treatment. Not all dogs are that fortunate. It is for this reason we are so pleased to support this research. We hope it will help other dogs. If non-genetic factors contributing to EPI can be identified maybe, just maybe, we’ll see the end of EPI.